God’s rule over injustice gives us hope
It was team day and we were gathered together in the neighboring jungle where our teammates reside, about an hour walk from our home. The day before there had been rioting related to the news of the death of 2 Malagasy children on Nosy Be Island. Tensions were on the rise and locals were seeking justice for, as the story unfolded, the mutilation of 2 children, including the removal of body parts.
As we learned more about the story it was suspected that 2 European men and 1 local man were directly involved. It was stated that authorities had captured the local man and had him held in prison in Hellville, but the captive soon escaped. That very day, while we had been in the jungle, the escapee walked the trail through the jungle where our team was gathered. The man came in our direction in an effort to escape from the small island of Nosy Be.
Team day had ended and we walked home, taking a shortcut that allows us to bypass Ambatozavavy, the main fishing village. Soon after arriving home, we received a phone call from one of our teammates notifying us that there was a mob forming in Ambatozavavy. The escapee had traveled approximately 4 kilometers from the main fishing village before locals caught him and escorted him back to Ambatozavavy. The phone call we received informed us that the mob would move down the road and pass in front of our house.
I hung up the phone, hollered at Bryan, and he passed the message to the president of the surrounding villages who was on our property at the time. The president then hurried to his house, phoned authorities and they informed him that they did not want the man, thereby leaving it in the hands of the locals to administer justice. The mob passed by, met up with the man’s family and the family of the 2 children, who tied him up and as we understand, took him away to be burned to death. The news reports also reported the deaths, by burning, of the 2 European men on a nearby beach that we recently visited.
How are we to process the brutal deaths of these children, the sickening way in which they were killed, the corruption entangled in and through this crime? As planned, our team was to leave Nosy Be Island, only one day following this tragedy. We received reports from the U.S. embassy to caution ourselves and it was suggested that tourists cancel plans to visit the island.
As I stood in the tiny airport awaiting our flight off the island, I was left with a sour feeling in the pit of my stomach. We were leaving at a tragic time; we looked just like other tourists, though our limited language abilities set us apart. We were not fleeing, but now I wonder what our neighbors might have thought…
This month the presidential election in Madagascar is scheduled to take place. Combined with the election comes tension, propaganda, and potential rioting. Please be in prayer for the forthcoming election, our teams’ return to Nosy Be and that God would take areas of injustice and use them for His glory. Currently we are sitting in Machakos, Kenya at a 3-week missions conference and learning more about African culture and worldview, the history of the church in Africa, with the hope of equipping our minds, souls and hearts to journey onward in the commission that God has called us towards.
We live in a world that is stained with injustice; Satan wishes to tear down the plans of God, but God remains steadfast, His plans are unchanging, He is sovereign over injustice and He promises us that He will wipe away every tear as far as the east is from the west.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall their be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:1-9)
Dear friends, my prayer for each of you is that, in Christ, the devil’s schemes will be conquered. No matter what circumstances you are going through, look up and with all confidence have faith in Christ Jesus, believe and know that our God, our Father, is sovereign and steadfast beyond measure. Our sins were put to death on the cross! Now, let each of us, by faith, carry our own load, share one another’s burdens and rest assured in His great faithfulness. Amen.
Your sister in Christ, Rebe